the government defends its record on PPE. A poem by Steve Pottinger

these numbers on a page
are a testament to british ingenuity
a familiar fairytale of sharp teeth
wolf as grandmother
remember people would die anywayin a matter of weeks, we will roll out
fire crew with the aspiration of a hose
the formulae for foam and water
in this, as in all things
we are following the science

this drawing of a blood transfusion
can be used in all settings
without the need for training
some of you may lose loved ones
this is not the time for negativity

families can proudly heat their home
with the memory of gas flames
sate hunger with an empty tin of beans
which feeds a family of four
and can be endlessly recycled

communities are now knitting their own doctors
cutting out placebos from last week’s news
across the country this is the new normal
we are scaling it up to unprecedented goals
the decisions responsible are on furlough

it is not responsible to speculate
on the medium-term prognosis
of our fallen heroes
we cannot tell you their names
we are ramping up each day that passes

it is vital that we focus
on our precious NHS
the feel good of millions
remember, we have done our best
ministers do not recognise those numbers

other nations marvel at our success

Steve Pottinger is a performance poet from the West Midlands. His latest book ‘thirty-one small acts of love and resistance’ is out now, and available at

1 Comment

  1. Wonderful use of metaphor to expose political absurdity – at best – downright villainy at worst. Thank you for fighting through the confusion of doublespeak.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *